Yes, the Sioux lost a close game to their closest and most hated rivals. No, it's not a huge deal. We all know Minnesota, even on down years, is still a decent team capable of putting up some points. The problem that I have with last nights game is not the fact the Sioux lost; the Sioux actually played a good game. I'm frustrated by the Gophers and their lack of class last night.
This video is already viral and discussion amongst college hockey fans is rampant. The discussion is whether or not this hit by Brad Malone on Kevin Wehrs was clean and furthermore, why after a big scrum, did North Dakota get a powerplay? Let's take a look.
At 9 seconds into the video, there's .9 seconds left on the clock. Wehrs has the puck and is looking to clear it. Malone eyes him up, looking to make a play on the body. At 10 seconds of the video, with .6 left, Malone throws a clean check on Wehrs, sending him into the boards. There's no malicious intent here, it's simply making a clean play on the body. A body check. Furthermore, the ref is standing right on top of the play and can easily make a call if necessary. But there is no call needed. Clean hit before the horn sounds, end of the period, go to the locker room.
Nope. Not for the Gophers. As soon as the period ends, Wehrs sat there on the ice looking just pissed that someone would dare hit him. At 14 seconds in, you can see a linesman skating towards Malone, I assume, to assure no one comes after him. At 15 seconds in, take a look to the left. You see Gregoire tangling with a Gopher who is clearly taking a run at Malone with intent to injure him. Turns out its resident dickweasel Cepis, who has a reputation of being a dirty player. Gregoire is protecting his teammate from this malicious player, and from there, it just grows into a melee.
Further of note, Wehrs was obviously shaken up by the play, right? Not so much. He got up and got right into the scrum. Hard to feel sorry for the guy when he wants to be out there picking fights. That's not going to garner much sympathy, son.
In the end, because of Cepis's stupid action, the Sioux got a well-deserved powerplay and capitalized on it. Perhaps Jacob Cepis has learned his lesson. I doubt it though, and although I don't wish many players ill harm, I can't wait for him to take an elbow to the back of the head tonight.